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Old September 25, 2008, 02:29 PM   #1
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Can I shoot Sporting Clays with this gun?

I have an old Stevens 520 shotgun. 2-3/4" 12 ga. I believe the barrel is full choke.

I bought a bunch of #7 shot, 2-3/4" shells.

I spoke to a gentleman at a gun show that seemed to know his shotguns, and he said: "Yes, but with #7 shot and a full choke, you will need to wait until the clays are a bit further out. Most folks use #8 shot and a wider choke."

Also, most folks I've talked to use a double barrel or a semi auto. With a pump, am I going to miss a lot while I rack it, or is this doable?
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Old September 25, 2008, 02:46 PM   #2
Jim Watson
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Shucking a pumpgun used to be just a part of knowing how to shoot. If you can run the gun, you can use it at Sporting Clays. Give it a try, you might have so much fun you buy a Perazzi.
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Old September 25, 2008, 04:17 PM   #3
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Go to the Benelli site and look for Tom Knapp video's. He's the best there is!!
And see what he can do with a pump or autoloader. Not only can he break the clay's but he hand throws them, not much time before they hit the ground. Try it yourself, take five birds and throw them up into the air, see how much time you have to shoot. Yes he's using the best guns out there, but it can be done. Go shooting, having fun is what it's all about. Tom F.
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Old September 25, 2008, 04:26 PM   #4
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I have seen a lot of people use pumps for sporting clays, not the norm, but maybe 10% of amateur shooters. The guy was right about #8s working better and having to wait a little longer. I think there is a slight disadvantage to having a pump, having a full choke, and having #7 shot. That being said I would not be at all surprised if you beat some people with 10,000 gold in laid o/u with improved choke and high brass or whatever #8 shot. If you are comfortable with it it will work great.
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Old September 27, 2008, 12:08 AM   #5
T. O'Heir
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Sporting Clays is practice for hunting as well as competitive shooting. Any shotgun will do nicely. You just need to be more accurate with a full choke on some of the stages because your pattern will be tighter. You might be able to have screw in adjustable chokes installed. Depends on how thick the barrel wall is about 2" from the muzzle.
As to being fast enough with a pump, that doesn't enter into it. Dry fire practice will make a huge difference if you think you're too slow racking the action. Cycling the action is a trained action. I can empty my 7 round 870 on plates and pins in less than 3 seconds. Takes dry firing practice.
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Old November 7, 2008, 02:55 PM   #6
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Just a word of warning -- most of the places I've shot allow only size 7.5 or SMALLER shot, so they wouldn't want you shooting 7's there.
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Old November 7, 2008, 06:55 PM   #7
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Use whatever gun you have - and go out and have some fun.

Is it your best option, no probably not - but does it really matter as long as you have a good time ?
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